Daily Archives: December 6, 2010


This post is dedicated to my Mother-in-law, perhaps the most patriotic Finn out there.  Therefore the post will be in Finnish first (thanks Google Translate!) followed by English.

Tänään on Suomen itsenäisyyspäivä. Takaisin vuonna 1917, kun Venäjän keisarikunta oli hajoamassa ja ensimmäinen maailmansota oli syvällä kolmas vuosi, suomalaiset julistautui itsenäisiksi ja nopeasti vaipui sisällissotaan. Jotenkin he onnistuivat luomaan järjestystä, luoda demokratia ja säilyttää itsenäisyytensä.

From kanssa wikipedia artikkeli:

Se on perinteistä paljon suomalaisia perheitä esiin kaksi kynttilää kussakin ikkunassa kotimaan illalla. Tämä tapa päivämäärät 1920, mutta jo sitä ennen, kynttilöitä oli sijoitettu ikkunoiden syntymäpäivänä runoilija Johan Ludvig Runeberg kuin hiljaisen protestin koettu Venäjän sorron. Suosittu legenda kertoo, että kaksi kynttilää käytettiin merkkinä tiedottaa nuoria miehiä matkalla Ruotsiin ja Saksaan tulee jääkärien käsivarret jäntevät kantaa, että talo oli valmis tarjoamaan suojaa ja pitää ne piilossa venäläiset

Hei Paula,

Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää!  Klikkaa kuvaa alla nähdä elokuvan.

Today is Finland’s independence day.  Back in 1917 while the Russian Empire was falling apart and the First World War was deep in its third year, the Finns declared their independence and quickly sank into civil war. Somehow they managed to establish order, create a democracy and maintain their independence.

From with wikipedia article:

It is traditional for many Finnish families to light two candles in each window of their home in the evening. This custom dates to the 1920s, but even earlier, candles had been placed in windows on the birthday of poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg as a silent protest against perceived Russian oppression. A popular legend has it that two candles were used as a sign to inform young men on their way to Sweden and Germany to become jägers that the house was ready to offer shelter and keep them hidden from the Russians



Music Monday

Amos Lee – Freedom



Flyover country again…

I just returned from a week in Lincoln, Nebraska.  For the second time this year I’ve had my preconvienced notions of ‘flyover country’ shattered (well, not all of them, it’s pretty flat out there).  Still, my smug East Coast attitude is beginning to crack around the edges.

If you happen to find yourself in merry ol’ Lincoln may I recommend Brewski’s which (on Thursdays at least) had a great set of ‘dueling pianos’.  I was sold with their rendition of Snoop Dogg‘s ‘Gin and Juice‘  and it only got better from there.

Nebraska boasts a decent selection of local beers which I highly recommend.  I tried many types ranging from pale ales to porters and don’t recall getting a bad one.

Another bar worthy of checking out is the ‘Starlight Lounge‘ which is (I think) a satellite operation (and attached to) a restaurant called ‘Buzzard Billy’s‘ (also worth checking out.  The lounge is decorated in late 60’s/early 70’s blue vinyl and was fantastic.  Even if it wasn’t, however, the evening would have been worth it based on the following snippit of conversation I heard while entering the restroom (two guys were talking to each other):

“…so I went home and googled it and found out there’s this whole fetish around women wearing casts.  It’s like regular porn except the woman has a cast on her arm or leg.  Yeah…cast porn.”  (Hey, do me a favor and finish reading this before you jump to google and search it, okay?  And don’t pretend you aren’t gonna do it…we both know you are.)

I don’t really know anything about sports but Lincolners (Lincolnites?  Lincolnese?) seem to be unusually enthusiastic attachment to their local college football team (the Cornhuskers).  I don’t really get the name.  I mean, don’t teams pick mascots that indicate the level of fieceness or determination to win?  Are people who husk corn particularly driven to that sort of thing?  I’m sure there’s a perfectly reasonable explaination for this but I feared my question might enrage the residents so I thought the best course of action was to keep my mouth shut.

Nebraskans are yet another group of people who are generally nicer than my Northeastern brethern.  I’m confident, however, that we’re MUCH better prepared for the zombie apocalypse (really, who doesn’t know that you have to destroy the brain to keep a zombie down?).

The airport in Lincoln has one of those full body scanners but, yet again, I was thwarted from making a scene and demanding a pat down when I was directed through a regular metal detector.  Damn you TSA!!!  I had three hours to kill!

On the other hand it didn’t look that they were directing many people through the scanner.  In fact, I’d almost say it was there for show but they finally sent one poor sap through it.

Oh…I wrote this in Chicago Midway airport on Friday night.  My only story to tell from here:  I see a young couple across from me talking, flirting, etc. (I can’t hear what as I’ve got my headphones on) but I just saw the woman pick the man’s nose and seconds later kiss him.  I have no idea what the hell kind of mating ritual that is but it kind of freaked me out.

Update:  Oh! And I forgot the weirdest thing of all.  Apparently, Lincolners (or maybe Nebraskans in general) have a favorite local dish which is comprised of a bowl of chili and a cinnamon bun which they use for dipping.  I have to admit the thought of that makes me throw up a bit in my mouth.  Still, they swear by it (it was on at least one menu I saw) and claim that it’s in regular rotation in the school lunch program along with carrot sticks.  What the hell, I guess if you’re already going to commit culinary homicide by mashing up a cinnamon bun and chili it’s probably too much to expect sense to be made with the sides.